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    A film about a midwife from Auschwitz

    On Monday, in the Grand Theater in Lodz will hold the official premiere of the documentary “Położna” film (the Midwife) about a prisoner of the German death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, Stanisława Leszczyńska from Lodz, who delivered three thousand babies there. She was called “Mama” (Mother) by her fellow prisoners.

    The director of the film “Położna” is Maria Stachurska, a relative of Stanisława Leszczyńska. In her memories, published on the website of the National Center for Culture, the author of the documentary emphasized that she remembered the legendary midwife in the film because it was the “fulfilment of the testament” of the heroine from Auschwitz.


    “My first memory of my aunt is a very warm one, but as a young girl I saw her more as a person of respect” – said Stachurska. She added that she was persuaded to create the documentary by her uncles, who told her about the fate of their mother.


    “Stanisława Leszczyńska delivered over 3,000 births in the camp, she did not lose a single child. She did not like to talk about her years in the camp. A deep love for God and people was the driving force behind her actions” – Stachurska recalled the profile of the midwife.


    The historical documentary depicts Leszczyńska’s life. The film refers to the camp fate of the heroic midwife who went against even Josef Mengele – the Angel of Death, as this “doctor” of the German death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau was called. The narrator of the documentary is Elżbieta Wiatrowska – the midwife’s granddaughter.


    Stanisława Leszczyńska was born on May 8, 1896 in Lodz. Almost all her life was connected with Bałuty, the poorest district of the city. In her youth, according to biographical sources, she went to visit relatives in Brazil. She returned in 1910. During World War I, she was in the Committee to Aid the Poor.


    In 1920 Leszczyńska went to Warsaw to finish nursing school. She returned to Lodz, to her husband Bronisław, with whom she had three children.


    In the German death camp for women – Birkenau – she worked as a midwife, prisoner number 41335. Defying the orders of the camp authorities, she delivered about 3,000 babies. She helped save children. Her fellow prisoners called this extraordinary midwife Mama (Mother).


    After the war, Leszczyńska stayed in Lodz, where she worked until she retired in 1957. She did not like to talk about what she went through and what she did in Auschwitz-Birkenau.


    In 1965 Leszczyńska’s memories “Report położnej” (“Report of a midwife”) were published, where she described her camp fate.


    Stanisława Leszczyńska died on March 11, 1974, and is buried in the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the centre of Bałuty, Lodz.


    The official premiere of the movie “The Midwife” with the participation of the documentary’s creators, the midwife’s family and Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Gliński will take place on Monday evening at the Grand Theatre in Lodz.


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